Van Vihar National Park

Spread over a vast area of 4.45 sq kms of land on a majestic hillock, the Van Vihar National Park is situated at the very heart of Bhopal city, in Madhya Pradesh. An oasis of greenery, this national park houses a variety of herbivorous and carnivorous species in their natural habitat. Infact it is more of a zoo than a National Park - most of the animals are either orphaned, brought in from various parts of the state, or those which have been exchanged from other zoos. Van Vihar is a place where the visitors have the opportunity to enjoy, experience, understand and appreciate nature. The park is open from 7am to 11am and 3pm to 5pm and remains closed on Tuesdays. July to September is the ideal time to visit the Park when you have the most chances to spot animals in their natural habitat.

Travel Tips

Once in Bhopal, try out the local cuisine – there a several interesting and innovative food joints. Plan an itinerary and chalk out a plan if you want to enjoy all the sights that the city has to offer. The Van Vihar National Park is an innovative and one of a kind Zoological Park. It is open throuout the year and free entry for schools, colleges and senior citizens. It is perfect for a short trip, with both elements of peace and tranquil within the bounds of the Park and the hustle-bustle of a city with much heritage.

When to visit

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • July
  • Aug
  • Sept
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
sprinkles Cold
  • 6.1° Max
  • 10.6° Min
  • 6.1 mm
  • Carry Heavy woollen.
Things to do

Van Vihar National Park wins brownie points for its freshness and innovation. It is based on the zoo model, but isn’t quite a conventional zoo. You will be charged a nominal entry fee of Rs 15 and Rs 150 per person for Indian and foreigners respectively, alongwith a fee of Rs 200 per vehicle. A path through the middle of a jungle, separated just by a fence runs through the length of the park, giving tourists a chance to observe animals in their natural habitat, without endangering or disturbing them. The herbivores roam around freely while the carnivores are separated in large enclosures. Travellers have reported spotting wild animals such as leopards, tigers, lions, bisons, wild boars, sloth bears and many other creatures. The park also offers special Elephant back rides through an earmarked wooded path. This infact, is one of the specialties of this National park and is a non-missable activity in the Park. Also, the enclosure of the White Tiger deserves a special mention. If you are lucky, you might spot one of those rare white tigers, pacing leisurely within the confines of the Park.

The largest artificial lake in Asia, Upper Lake in Ramasar site, is another very popular attraction. It offers activities such as boating among the woods, and observing avifauna and water creatures as they surround the lake at all times. The Boating Club at the Upper Lake has several adventure and water sports, they offer, such as canoing, rafting, kayaking, water skiing, parasailing among others. It is an absolute hit with the younger travel communities and adventure lovers. A number of other operators offer facilities like sailing, paddling and motor-boat rides on the south-eastern side of the lake to attract visitors.

Places to Stay

Being situated in the middle of the flourishing city of Bhopal, the Van Vihar National Park has many hotels nearby, catering to all kinds of budgets.

Luxury Hotels - (5000 - 10,000 INR pernight):-

WelcomHeritage Noor-Us-Sabah Palace (VIP Road Koh-E-Fiza, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 462001 India )
Courtyard by Marriott Bhopal (Db City - Arera Hills, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 462011 India)
Jehan Numa Palace Hotel (157 Shamla Hill, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 462013 India)

Mid range Hotels - (2000 - 4000 INR pernight):-

Hotel Lake View Ashok (Shamla Hills Bhopal Centre, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 462013 India)
Hotel Arch Manor (243-A, Zone-1, Maharana Pratap Nagar, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 462011 India)
Hotel Amer Palace (209 Zone-1, M.P. Nagar, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 462011 India)

Budget Hotels - (900 - 1800 INR pernight):-

Hotel Sonali Regency (3-Hamidia Road Near Radha Cinema, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 462001 India)
Hotel Residency (208 Maharana Pratap Nagar Zone 1, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 462011 India
Ranjit’s Lakeview (Van Vihar Road, Shyamla Hills, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 462002 India)



How to Reach

  • The airport in Bhopal is only 12 kms away from the Van Vihar National Park. There are regular flights that connect Bhopal with cities like Delhi, Gwalior, Indore and Mumbai which makes reaching the National Park, a cakewalk.
  • Bhopal lies on one of the two major rail lines from Delhi to Mumbai. The nearest railway station is near Hamidia Road, the National Park being only about 5 kms from the railway station.
  • To reach Bhopal via road, there are regular buses that run from all nearby places such as Sanchi, Ujjain, Vidisha, Indore etc. Once you reach Bhopal the local transportation within Bhopal can also take you to Van Vihar National Park since it is located in the heart of the main city.

Surrounding Attractions

Bhopal is a city teeming with culture and history, as well as a variety of tourist activities. Within 45 kms of the Park is the Sanchi Stupa, an ancient Buddhist stupa, famous the world over for its architecture and religious symbolism. The relic stands proud, even after years of degradation and should definitely not be missed. The Bhimbetka Cave and Rock Sculptures is another famous spot. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Bhimbetka Caves and shelters offer a rare opportunity to go back to the roots of mankind through their well preserved paintings. Close by is the Taj –ul – Masjid - the luminous mosque is resplendent with its wondrous architecture and grandeur. Another famous mosque, the Moti Masjid is also in Bhopal. Signifying the history of Muslim women in India, Moti Masjid is known for its majestic architecture.
These and many other nearby attractions in Bhopal, such as the Jama Masjid, Birla Museum etc all together make it a very interesting visit.

Important Numbers

State Police of Madhya Pradesh – 100

Police Station Bhopal -
Email :       
Control Room -    2555922, 2555933, 100       
Women Helpline -    2443801,1091       
Traffic Helpline -    2443850       
Ambulance Service -    108       
Tele Samadhan -    0755- 155343       
Child Helpline -    2559689, 1098